Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Can you RV with dogs? Not without installing these 3 safety essentials first

Traveling with your dog can be an adventure unlike any other, no matter the destination. For pups who enjoy being on the road — and who don’t suffer from motion sickness — spending some time traveling in an RV can be especially fun. The wind in their fur and all their favorite folks with them. Can it get any better?

Actually, it can. There are a few small yet life-changing RV accessories that can turn a regular old RV into the safest relaxation space for your four-legged friend. From a few obvious additions to some more unique accessories, we’ve considered them all to bring you the most important, most effective safety tools for dogs.

For RVs with dogs, consider these pet care travel essentials:

Temperature-control essentials

Even the most modern RVs with top-notch air conditioning systems can have a hard time keeping up on the hottest days. Especially if you’re traveling somewhere like the American Southwest, you’ll want to have multiple backup plans in case your dog overheats.

Temperature alert systems

Anyone can read a thermometer, but you’ll need something a little more advanced to get instant access to weather safety information. Luckily, there are a number of RV temperature monitors and alert systems that will keep you in the know no matter where you are. This is especially important if your furry friend stays unattended in the RV during your trip, even for short amounts of time.

Remember, even though an RV is a lot larger than a passenger car, it can still get too hot to be safe when left in the sun for a while. Don’t make your best buddy face that heat!

Instead, invest in an RV temperature alert system like the Waggle RV/Dog Safety Temperature and Humidity Sensor. This device monitors and informs you about weather conditions at any location with just a few clicks on your phone — no WiFi necessary. Now you’ll be able to check on your pup’s environment in an instant, so you’ll know before anyone else if conditions become unsafe.

RV sunshade

Another way to keep your RV cool during the summer months is to create your own shade. Retired meteorologist Jim Lushine told the Florida Sun-Sentinel that air in the shade can measure in at 10 to 15 degrees lower than the air exposed to direct sunlight—but this is a phenomenon that can be felt on any warm day.

To keep your RV and your precious pup from overheating, you may want to shop for a windshield sunshade. This will keep the wheel, dashboard, and front of your vehicle out of the sunlight, though window coverings and awnings can be just as helpful for the sides of the RV. This artificial shade is also a great way to give yourself or your pooh a little extra privacy, so it’s a win-win!

A person hugs and kisses their Yorkshire Terrier outside of an RV
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Identification methods

Even if your dog is going to stay within the safety of your vehicle, you’ll want to give him at least one form of identification in case of an emergency.


Many animal rescues and veterinarians recommend trying out a microchip for your dog. It’s programmed to hold your contact information in case anyone finds your buddy wandering about. Madison Animal Care Hospital warns about one common misconception, though: unlike what many pet parents think, microchips are not GPS-enabled. They do not help you locate your dog, but they do ensure that your information stays with your pet no matter where they go.

ID tag

Collars and ID tags are an even more popular way to keep a dog identifiable, and they’re even required at some parks and campgrounds. Luckily, collars are super comfortable for most dogs to wear. Plus, they come in so many adorable colors and designs, so your pet’s personality won’t be compromised one bit. Remember to keep your dog’s ID tags up-to-date with your most recent information, and you’re good to go!

A Maltese dog looks out of the window of an RV
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Portable exercise pens and gates

RV dogs get plenty of time cuddled up close to their people when they temporarily live in a large vehicle, so they should get the chance to romp and play a bit, too. For smaller friends, a portable playpen for dogs could be exactly what you need. Your buddy will be able to run and play off-leash for a while, and you’ll know they’re safely contained in a small area.

For larger dogs, you may need to get creative. There are a number of doggy fences that are perfect to use inside the RV, but there aren’t many that accommodate larger outdoor spaces. Instead, use part of your vehicle as a fence, too! As long as your buddy can’t crawl under the RV, you can place each end of the fence against the vehicle and give your dog some extra space to relax.

With these RV essentials on your next shopping list, you’ll be nearly ready to hit the road. Don’t forget to pack all your dog’s basics — including food, bed, and toys — as well as a few things to keep your pooch entertained. Don’t be surprised if your fur baby needs some time outside of the RV every now and then, though! Even the laziest of pooches need to take a potty break sometimes.

Happy travels!

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
Is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog? Everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed
Belgian Malinois breed description, family behavior, and more
A Belgian Malinois leaps through a meadow of dandelions

If you're considering opening up your home to a new four-legged family member, there may be a lot of thoughts swimming through your mind. This is totally normal. Bringing home a new pet is a big change, so it's only natural (and responsible) to think through every aspect of the decision before you commit. One thing you may be considering is which dog breed would be best for your home. Although you may not be able to hand-pick your perfect breed when adopting a pet from a shelter, knowing a bit about the most common dog breeds can help you make an informed choice.
The Belgian Malinois is a breed often seen in cities, suburbs, and farms, though it's often mistaken for an entirely different dog -- the German shepherd. While they are related, these breeds are completely separate from one another. Familiarizing yourself with Belgian Malinois characteristics and traits will help you decide whether this may be a breed for your family, but first, we'll have to ask -- is a Belgian Malinois a good family dog?
Let's find out everything there is to know about this strong and loyal dog breed.

Belgian Malinois breed characteristics

Read more
Can dogs eat mango? Read this first
Find out if this tropical fruit is safe for your pup
A dog in the kitchen looking up at woman drinking coffee

As humans, we love to share with our dogs. Perhaps your pet snuggles up to you in bed, sharing — or stealing — your blankets. Sharing experiences, like holiday activities, can also be a fun way to bond.

Food can get dicier, though. Some human-favorite items, like chocolate, are toxic for dogs. Others make fine (and even healthy) treats. If mango is your favorite fruit, you might want to slip your pet some. Also, your dog might always be around the fruit and sneak some off your plate. Can dogs eat mango safely? Generally, the answer to this question is yes, but there are some caveats. Also, correctly serving a mango is critical. Before throwing your dog a piece of this sweet fruit, here's what to know.

Read more
Can dogs eat celery? The do’s and don’ts you should know
Your pup will probably love a veggie snack now and then
Woman chops up veggies including celery for her dog

Your dog's favorite snacks might include dog biscuits, fancy chews, or even that bacon you dropped on the floor one time, but can dogs eat celery? The truth is lots of dogs like veggies, even bland ones such as celery. While you wouldn't want this green and healthy nibble to become a staple in their diet, you can absolutely give your pup a celery snack now and then — and they might grow to love it.

Can dogs have raw celery?
As omnivores, our pet dogs need a balanced diet of both meat and plants. That's likely because their domestic history made them into scavengers thousands of years ago when our ancestors were still in the hunter-gatherer phase. In modern times, this diet preference has huge benefits because you can throw in some healthful treats that will give your pup a nutrition boost and keep them full.

Read more